Here’s our third iteration of the NBA’s player power rankings! We’ve finally weeded out the real and the fake and we pretty much know who is who right now. We’re closing in on roughly one fourth of the season being played now so our “Small Sample Size Theater” can pretty much be thrown out of the window.
Some players will still continue to rise and some will most definitely fall–especially in the bottom five of the power rankings. This week’s rankings features a new number one player and plenty of new faces. Some people have dropped dramatically and seem to be on a free fall while some are having their stocks rise right before our very eyes. A player that wasn’t in the top 25 at all managed to make the top 10 this week.
Here are your power rankings:
1. Kevin Durant
The Improvements that Kevin Durant has made on his game this season have him sitting at the top of the player rankings for this week. I know, every week its the same thing. I gush about how much he’s improved as a passer, a defender and a rebounder. Initially I thought it may have been just a fluke. I didn’t know if Durant could sustain what he was doing and also cut down on his turnovers. He’s don just that, though.
Durant has averaged 27.4 points per game along with 3.8 assists and only two turnovers per game. On the season he’s still averaging a career high 8.7 rebounds per game and has a 13.8% Total rebounding rate. He’s also still boasting a defensive rating of 98 which is in Tony Allen territory. The Thunder are sitting at 14-4 and its largely because of Durant’s efforts in all facets of the game.
2. LeBron James
Once again, James is creeping up in the power rankings moving up to spot number two. He’s boasting a PER of 28.1 which is pretty low by James’ standards but indicates that a player is playing way above an All-Star level. That says a lot about the season that James is having and where he’s taking the Miami Heat. Each week it seems like James is playing in more of a comfort zone in the week before–maybe even the game before.
James is shooting a career high 43% from beyond the arch and has managed to snatch 8.6 boards per game which is easily a career high for him. Not to mention his 24.7 points per game average and his 6.5 assists per game average. He’s the most complete player in the game right now. Though the Heat don’t look like the same team that won the NBA championship last season, James is still having a sensational season. Not to mention that he is doing all of this on his second lowest usage rate of his career.
3. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant has moved down to number three in this weeks iteration of the power rankings but that doesn’t mean that he’s been any less effective. Sure, he had a game with 10 turnovers last week, but he’s picking up a new system on the fly in a role that he’s not going to play throughout the year. He’s done an excellent job thus far when he’s had to adapt to different schemes and offenses. That’s why, even with the Lakers being below .500, we have Kobe in the top three.
At his age he leads the league in scoring with 27.3 points per game and is averaging 5.1 assists with 5.2 rebounds in this young season. Kobe is shooting a career best 48% from the field and also boasts a .613 True Shooting percentage. He’s doing all of this with only 18 shots per game. This is the least amount of shooting that he’s done since the 2003-04 season which was the final year of Shaq’s era in LA.
4. Anderson Varejao
Who would’ve thought that Anderson Varejao would be in a top 5 player discussion, even if it is a power ranking? I mean, hell, he’s stacking up the All-Star votes, too. So why not give him his credit here? He’s been an absolute beast on the offensive boards this season. He’s racked up 109 offensive rebounds so far this season which is over 20 more than the next person in line.
He’s averaged 15.2 points per game and 15.4 rebounds per game as well. He’s got a 24.9% Total Rebounding Rate and is boasting an offensive rating of 123 for this season. That ties a career high for him and also adds to his 24.2 PER. He deserves to be an All-Star this season.
5. Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol’s production has fallen off but that’s only because a 133 offensive rating is something that’s hard to sustain through a whole season. He’s still got a 127 offensive rating and is assisting on 19.9% of his teams shots. That’s still spectacular for a center. He’s got 4.3 assists per game and that’s better than some point guards can do. He’s one of the best offensive players in this game.
6. Chris Paul
Chris Paul has had somewhat of a dropoff since the beginning of the season. The Clippers offense has slowed down but they’ve still got the offensive fire power that they’ve had all season long. He’s got a 24.9 PER this season and a 125 offensive rating. His 59.1% true shooting percentage isn’t anything to laugh at either. He’s still the point god, as far as I’m concerned.
7. Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan is still going through his second childhood averaging 18.9 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game along with 2.4 blocks per game. I’m not sure if he hasn’t gone and switched himself with Timmy of the past because these numbers are phenomenal for a 36 year old. His Spurs are sitting at the top of the Western Conference and that’s in large part due to what he brings to the table.
8. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony is second in the league in scoring behind Kobe Bryant with 26.6 points per game on a 46% shooting percentage. He’s killing teams from the block instead of from the perimeter and that’s why he’s suddenly become such an effective player. Carmelo has the Knicks at the top of the Atlantic division and they aren’t looking back.
9. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook wasn’t even in our top 25 when the rankings first became apart of My Mind on Sports. Now he’s sitting at number nine because of his performances as of late. He’s averaging 20.1 points per game, 8.7 assists per game, and 5.1 rebounds per game. Not to mention that he almost snagged a quadruple double the other night only coming two assists and three steals shy of it. Talk about talented.
10. Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin probably doesn’t deserve to be here, admittedly. But I think that the flashes that he’s shown us throughout the past few games has given him a top ten spot. Teams are guarding Griffin incredibly hard and denying him even off of his slips. Even with that he’s managed to average 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Last night he exploded for 30 points and 11 assists against the Jazz and has had two double dobules in his last five games. It seems like he’s starting to figure things out.
The Rest of The Best
11. Rajon Rondo
12. Chris Bosh
13. Kenneth Faried
14. Tyson Chandler
15. Zach Randolph
16. Dwight Howard
17. Kevin Martin
18. Tony Parker
19. Ray Allen
20. David Lee
21. James Harden
22. Paul Pierce
23. Jrue Holiday
24. Eric Bledsoe
25. O.J Mayo
I had an incredibly fun time putting together these rankings and I think that this list is a pretty awesome one. Leave your feedback through the comment box! Thanks for reading.